DAILY DOSE: Elon Musk trolls Wall Street; First Law of Thermodynamics violated in quantum systems?

NOT SO FAST.

Tesla and SpaceX’s Elon Musk has a lot to say about just about everything these days. Whether he’s trolling Democrats or tormenting Twitter’s Board, he’s never at a loss for words. Recently, he’s called out one of Finance’s latest attempts at appearing like responsible actors. Per Reuters, “Elon Musk’s rejection of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) scores as a ‘scam’ highlights how Wall Street’s hottest investment trend that encompasses some $35 trillion in assets means different things to different people. The chief executive of Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) lashed out on Wednesday against S&P Global Inc (SPGI.N) after the electric car maker was dropped from its flagship ESG index while it added some companies whose activities are harmful to the environment, such as oil and gas producers.” While Musk can be a bit grating most of the time, he’s got a point. https://reut.rs/38JaCAF


NEED TO KNOW.

According to reports, the Monkeypox outbreak in Europe and North America is not going away. On the contrary, it appears to be picking up steam. The fact that cases have been appearing the way they have indicates that a decent amount of community transmission has already taken place. That’s worrisome. With that in mind, the Associated Press put out an accessible “explainer” to get you up to speed regarding the world’s latest public health threat. https://bit.ly/3lpHzFc


THERE’S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN.

HIV/AIDS used to be the public health cause that sucked the air out of the room when it came to monetary pledges from philanthropic and pharmaceutical organizations. During the Covid-19 Age, that’s no longer the case. Still, there is a lot of money going to HIV/AIDS research and treatment programs. This year, there’s a new giver topping the list. Per Endpts, “Gilead Sciences’ $100 million pledge to fight the HIV epidemic in the southern US states helped boost the biopharma to the top of an annual philanthropic giving list. The 19th annual study by Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA) put Gilead at the top ahead of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the first time since the study began. Total charitable giving for 2020 was $707 million which, while just a 1% increase over the year before, is still the highest amount to date, said Sarah Hamilton, FCAA director of operations. FCAA tracks cash grants to external organizations for HIV research, treatment and other programs and does not include big government or public health funding or in-kind contributions from pharma companies.” https://bit.ly/3wwMb2H


BREAKING THE LAW.

Take any Physics 101 or Chemistry 101 courses, one of the first things you learn is that the First Law of Thermodynamics –  energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only altered in form – is pretty much sacrosanct. Of course, just like everything else, it is until it isn’t. The “isn’t” part was first observed by physicists a few years ago. An article in Quanta Magazine looks at the controversial discovery of an instance where the Law of Conservation may be violated. According to the article, “Finally, in December 2020, the trio published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explaining what the problem is: In quantum systems, superoscillation appears to violate the law of conservation of energy. This law, which states that the energy of an isolated system never changes, is more than a bedrock physical principle. It’s now understood to be an expression of the fundamental symmetries of the universe — a “very important part of the edifice of physics,” said Chiara Marletto, a physicist at the University of Oxford.” Physicists are divided as to whether the new paradox exposes a genuine violation of the conservation of energy. https://bit.ly/3LvjdEv


THRILL OF THE CHASE.

The discovery of a new species is always exciting. An article in The Wire tells the story of how a long search for a tiny species of fish finally came to a head in the most random of places. Per The Wire, “In their paper published on May 16 in the journal Zootaxa, the team christened it the Pathala eel loach (Pangio pathala). ‘Pathala’ is Sanskrit for ‘below the feet’ – a reference to the fish’s subterranean nature. If not for Abraham’s call, we wouldn’t know of the existence of the Pathala eel loach. According to Abraham’s wife Suja, these fish may have passed through their taps before, and they probably didn’t notice it then. ‘Now we’re always on the lookout for these creatures in our wells, tanks and tap water, after the researchers told us about them,’ she said.” https://bit.ly/3yOJbQA

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend. Let’s be careful out there.

IMAGE CREDIT: JD Lasica.


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